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Poster: irishmaestro Date: Apr 9, 2010 2:43pm
Forum: 78rpm Subject: Re: Aren't 78RPM Records Still Copyrighted in the U.S.?

Indeed. In the EU (and certainly in the UK and in Ireland), any sound recording first released more than 50 years ago (before 1960) is Public Domain.

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Poster: writerpatrick Date: May 5, 2010 7:56am
Forum: 78rpm Subject: Re: Aren't 78RPM Records Still Copyrighted in the U.S.?

The 50 year rule also applies in Canada. As a result there's some things that are legal to sell in Canada that aren't legal in the US.

It's also my understanding that anything that had already fallen into PD cannot be taken out of PD. So while the rules may have changed they only apply to material that was already copyrighted.

And to the best of my knowledge, there's never been any court case (within the past couple decades) dealing with someone breaking copyright on a 78 recording. Even if it's a recording from 1940 the copyright owners are likely dead from old age. (Even a 20 year old in 1940 would be 90 today.) At most you might run into trouble for someone like Bing Crosby or Spike Jones, but you would have to be distributing them on a major basis.